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Friday, October 20, 2017

Football

Victory over Mustangs marks Catalon’s career-best game


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Duke Catalon carried the team on his back on his way to a career game. Catalon ended the game with 22 carries for 177 yards and two touchdowns. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

The Cougars have not looked back since their 27-24 loss to Texas Tech.

They have now won two conference games in a row with a home 35-22 victory against the SMU Mustangs on Saturday night.

Senior quarterback Kyle Postma and company had no issues moving the ball up and down the field all game. Despite touting the third-ranked offense in the country coming into the game, the Mustangs could not get anything going against the Cougar defense.

The Cougars won by handing the ball off often to junior running back Duke Catalon, who had a career day in yards and touchdowns.

“Our guys played really hard,” said head coach Major Applewhite. “We didn’t play perfect all the time, but (the Mustangs) played hard. They are a really good football team, really well-coached. I know some of their staff. They have really good guys. I’m just glad we played harder.”

The first quarter saw scores on both sides and a relatively even game. SMU totaled 140 total yards of offense while the Cougars were held to just 80 yards. The Mustangs opened the scoring with a 23-yard field goal, but the Cougars countered with a touchdown from Postma to sophomore D’Eriq King, making the score 7-3.

The Cougars’ lead didn’t last long. Sophomore quarterback Ben Hicks put the Mustangs up 9-7 with a slant pass to junior wide receiver Trey Quinn for a touchdown.

SMU continued its scoring and tacked on another three points in the second quarter before Houston got rolling.

The chemistry between Postma and King was apparent as they connected for another touchdown in the air. But this time it was King passing to Postma on a reverse pitch to King, ending with him throwing the ball to a wide-open Postma for the easy touchdown.

“It was a great call,” King said. “As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be a touchdown. They were so worried about me on the sweeps. Postma ran a great route, and I threw the ball. Postma did all the work.”

Postma was on fire most of the second quarter and ended the half with three total touchdowns, but he wasn’t the only offensive spark in the first half. Duke Catalon finished with 10 carries for 84 yards and a career-long 45-yard run to end the second quarter.

The Mustangs ended the half with a missed field goal by junior Josh Williams and a nine-point deficit.

The second half wasn’t much different. The Mustangs managed to score at the start bringing the team within three points of the Cougars. But again the Cougars responded with a score of their own.

Duke Catalon ran for 52 yards and a touchdown in one play for yet another career run, putting the Cougars ahead by nine. Although this rush already gave him a career-high in rushing yards in a single game, he wasn’t close to done for the night.

The Mustangs again settled for a field goal to the end the third quarter and bring the game within a touchdown.

Duke Catalon added another notch to his belt with a 16-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. With two touchdowns, he achieved a career high in scores in a game as well.

Although there were not a lot of fireworks in the second half, the Cougars still looked dominant on both sides of the ball through the whole game. The defense held the Mustangs to just 22 points after they scored at least 40 in their first five games.

“People are going to get yards nowadays,” Applewhite said. “It’s more or less: Can you take the ball away in the red zone or hold the team to a field goal? Our defense did a great job in limiting them to field goals and taking the ball away.”

Senior safety Terrell Williams capped off the high-flying defensive night with two interceptions late in the fourth quarter to stop the momentum of a Mustang comeback.

The Cougars walked away with another conference victory and a 4-1 record on the back of Catalon, who had a career night. He finished the game with 177 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cougars are now set to face Tulsa on the road Saturday, Oct. 14. The Golden Hurricane are 1-5 this season after a 62-28 loss against Tulane on Saturday.

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